Man loses 9st to become Earlham’s Slimming World Man of the Year
- Credit: James Bishop
Going for a walk across the city to see the Go Go Dragons in 2015 left 24-stone James Bishop feeling breathless and unwell.
So he took the plunge and joined a local slimming group - losing nine stone since September 2015 and cutting his waist measurement from 48 to 32 inches.
Now he regularly does park runs and he's even planning a marathon.
Initially the 41-year-old from Chapel Break was under the impression that slimming clubs were aimed at women, but he finally decided to give it a go.
The married father-of-two said: 'Deep down I'd been unhappy with my weight for a while but it took me a long time to face up to it. When I did admit to myself that I wanted to lose weight I still didn't want to ask for help.
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'I've realised now that I'm far from being weak: asking for help takes strength of character and getting the support to make changes has given me a sense of confidence that is benefitting every aspect of my life.'
Before joining West Earlham's Slimming World, Mr Bishop's weight had begun to impact his health and he struggled with atrial fibrillation, breathlessness and excessive perspiration. Now those troubles are behind him.
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'As a man I always thought that physical activity would be the best way to lose weight, but when I was at my heaviest I just wasn't fit enough to do it,' he said. 'Slimming World helped me to break it down into chunks and by starting small I've managed to build up my activity gradually.
'I regularly do the local parkrun now and frequently beat my personal bests. I've run a half marathon, walked 100km from London to Cambridge and I'm planning on running a full marathon in February. I feel like a different man.'
Kate Young, who runs the West Earlham and Great Plumstead Slimming World groups said: 'He has done brilliantly and we're all amazed by his transformation. It's great to see him so fit and active especially so he can interact with his young son now too. He's a real inspiration.
'We know that many men assume slimming clubs won't be right for them, but James shows that once they've come though the doors they can do brilliantly.'
• The West Earlham Slimming World group - of which James is Man of the Year, is held every Wednesday at West Earlham Community Centre at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Anyone interested in joining can pop along or for more information call Kate on 07919157066.